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Art Therapy in Group Settings

This research examines art therapy in group settings for subjects diagnosed as schizophrenic. The research will set forth the background and context in which art therapy has been determined to be relevant to psychological treatment for schizophrenia and then discuss the dynamics of patient response to group treatment, including the use of media and the structure of intervention and treatment techniques, with a view toward identifying the advantages and limits of art therapy for this patient demographic.

Art therapy appears to have emerged as a discrete psychotherapeutic discipline in the 1960s and 1970s. The tone of the literature of the early stage suggests that it was thought to be something of an adjunct to traditional--indeed Freudian--psychotherapeutic approaches, perhaps a helpful bridge to initiating communication with patients in a clinical setting (Ulman, 1966). However tentative the earliest theory of art therapy may have been, evidence of its clinical utility over the last 40 years or so has mounted. The result is that it has found application in a whole range of psychological interventions and schools of practice, from person-centered to Gestalt to self-psychology to object-relations and beyond (Rubin, 2001).

One important fact about art therapy is the emphasis theorists and practitioners place on defining the term. Rubin's definition of art therapy (1982), for example, holds that both art and therapy must be involved in a clear understanding of that term. Waller (1992) describes creative-arts-based therapies in general as a synthesis of psychoanalysis and art education. The implication of such designations is that the practice is cross-disciplinary in nature, confined neither to art as such nor to psychotherapeutic praxis in the common understanding of that term. It follows that diagnosis of cases to which art therapy may be suitably applied must involve a therapist with skills in both art and psychotherapeutic scien...

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Art Therapy in Group Settings. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:53, May 25, 2020, from